It's Official: WWE NXT Has Jumped The Shark

Why is it so violent?

Ciampa Gargano

Last night's NXT proved very divisive.

The hardcores loved it, those less emotionally invested laughed at it. It was headlined by 'One Final Beat', the last and purportedly conclusive chapter in the epic Johnny Gargano Vs. Tommaso Ciampa saga. This was a cinematic match.

It was a wrestling match that lasted as long as a f*cking film.

It was the Ganryujima Island Death Match rebooted by Zack Snyder. It was 48 minutes of excruciatingly tedious melodrama worked with a stunning level of pointless violence. It made Edge Vs. Randy Orton look like lucha libre. Danger in pro wrestling is - or should be - linked inextricably to excitement. The risk is taken to pop the crowd, whether it serves the story or not. Violence has no right to be as boring as it was in that match. It's meant to arouse our inner bloodlust. It's meant to transfix the worst part of us. This was just dull, attritional, and devoid of drama.

It was also very, unintentionally funny. The match played with the intimacy of their relationship - the finish undermined it, of course - in such a way that accelerated well beyond the farcical. It was Top Gun without the fun. It was Top Gun rebooted by Zack Snyder. Johnny Gargano - knowing damn well of his own masterplan that...relied on not losing a match for 40 minutes - reached out gingerly to touch Ciampa's hand. Maybe...all along...he couldn't do this himself. And he couldn't!

CONT'D...(1 of 6)


Michael Sidgwick is an editor, writer and podcaster for WhatCulture Wrestling. With over seven years of experience in wrestling analysis, Michael was published in the influential institution that was Power Slam magazine, and specialises in providing insights into All Elite Wrestling - so much so that he wrote a book about the subject. You can order Becoming All Elite: The Rise Of AEW on Amazon. Possessing a deep knowledge also of WWE, WCW, ECW and New Japan Pro Wrestling, Michael’s work has been publicly praised by former AEW World Champions Kenny Omega and MJF, and current Undisputed WWE Champion Cody Rhodes. When he isn’t putting your finger on why things are the way they are in the endlessly fascinating world of professional wrestling, Michael wraps his own around a hand grinder to explore the world of specialty coffee. Follow Michael on X (formerly known as Twitter) @MSidgwick for more!